Dumaresqs of Gros Puits, Ponterrin and St Helier

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A history of branches of the Dumaresq family
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This history of the Dumaresq family, several of whom rose to high rank in Jersey's administration, was written by the Rev J A Messervy, and first published in French in the 1910 Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise. It has been translated by Mike Bisson

Several notable branches of the Dumaresq family, whose history is so intimately linked to that of our island, were either omitted or simply sketched in the Payne's Armorial of Jersey. There is no question of studying all of them here, which would go beyond the scope of these notices. We would like to restrict ourselves to speaking of the most important of these branches, which undeniably played in the past a considerable role both political and social. The birthplace of the Dumaresq family was without doubt the parish of St Brelade, and probably the district of La Haule. But the ‘’Armorial’’ makes a double error in saying that the Dumaresqs were Seigneurs of the fief of La Haule from father to son from the start of the 15th century until the 17th century.

Armorial's inaccuracies

To begin with it is incorrect to say ‘the fief of La Haule; the true name is ‘the franc fief in St Brelade’. Also, whoever owned this fief in the 15th century, in the 16th it belonged to the Gervaise family, which already owned it in 1309, then to the Langlois, and only after 1586 the Dumaresqs.

Anyway, here are some notes in support of this assertion:

  • 1535: Nicolas Gervaise, Seigneur of franc fief in St Brelade
  • January 1546: The franc fief in St Brelade sequestrated because of the ‘transport’ of the Gervaises
  • 1553: Johan Langlois said that he had acquired the franc fief in St Brelade
  • Philbert Gibaut, minor child of Johan Lamglois, Seigneur of the franc fief in St Brelade
  • 1587: Helier Dumaresq acquired the franc fief in St Brelade from Francoise Langlois, wife of Hugh Lempriere; on 21 September 1587 he answered for the fief at the Cour d’Heritage.

We also note that in 1588 it was observed that Helier Dumaresq bought ‘the large house of the franc fief of St Brelade’. We don’t know exactly which house this was, but it was probably the Menage du franc fief which belonged in 1630 to David Bandinel, Dean, by right of Elie Dumaresq, son of Helier.

La Haule genealogy additions

Perhaps it would be useful to complete or correct here the genealogy given in the Armorial of the Dumaresqs of La Haule.

Edouard Dumaresq, Jurat from 1544 to 1566 (father of Helier Dumaresq who acquired the franc fief in 1587) was the eldest son of Jurat Thomas Dumaresq of St Brelade, and Georgette Hamptonne, daughter of Guillaume. His younger brother Jacques, Centenier of St Peter, married Thomasse, daughter of Edmond Baudains, and their daughter Catherine married Pierre Bisson, of St Peter.

Edouard and Jacques Dumaresq had several sisters; Jeanne married Richard de Carteret of Vinchelez de Haut; Michelle married Guillaume Poingdestre, and the two others married Thomas Pipon and Jacques de Caen.

By his marriage to Catherine Poingdestre dit Billot, daughter of Matthieu, Edouard Dumaresq had an elder son Helier, and probably a younger son Thomas, who settled in St Helier. We will give a list of his descendants below. Edouard Dumaresq also had two daughters: Jeanne, wife of Gilles Lempriere, Seigneur of Trinity, and Elizabeth, married first to Nicolas Hamptonne and second to Clement Journeaux.

Helier Dumaresq was Jurat from 1570 to 1598. He married first Francoise Hamptonne, daughter of Jurat Laurens Hamptonne, and widow of Leonard Bisson; his second marriage in about 1580 was to Marthe de Soulemont, daughter of Jurat Nicolas de Soulemont.

By his first marriage he had two daughters: Elizabeth, who married first Jacques Pipon, and second Clement Dumaresq of St Clement; and Sara, wife of Hugh Lempriere, Seigneur of Dielament. His children of the second marriage were Elie Dumaresq (1588- ), Philippe who died unmarried in 1615, Susanne, wife of Abraham Perrin, Jeanne, wife of Benjamin La Cloche, Seigneur of Longueville, and two other daughters who married Jean Le Geyt and Thomas Carey, of Guernsey. The family of Elie were cruelly affected by the plague of 1626, which ravaged the Parish of St Brelade.

Helier Dumaresq, son of Edouard, Seigneur of France Fief in St Brelade, Fief des Arbres, etc, died in 1598. His widow Marthe de Soulemont then married Nicolas Carey, Jurat in Guernsey.

In the course of a partage of an estate, the daughters of Helier Dumaresq said of the inheritance of their father that there were more households than sons. For the remainder of the genealogy of this branch, see the ‘’Armorial’’.

Confusion of two Heliers

It is convenient to say here that the authors of the Armorial confused Helier Dumaresq, son of Edouard of La Haule, with another Helier Dumaresq, to whom they mistakenly gave Francoise Hamptonne as a wife.This Helier Dumaresq was the younger son of Richard Dumaresq, Seigneur of Vinchelez de Bas and Leoville, Jurat from 1537 to 1556, and Collette Larbalestier.

In reality he married a daughter of Guillaume Poingdestre dit Billot. He was not only Viscount, but Regent of St Mannelier from 1576 to 1581, the date of his death. He was buried at St Saviour on 31 May 1581.

As the Armorial rightly says, several of the descendants of Helier, son of Richard, settled in England, andothers in Canada, on the island of Cap Breton; but there is an gap in the genealogy of this branch in the ‘’Armorial’’ which we believe it is useful to fill. Perry Dumaresq and William Grant Dumaresq, of Cap Breton, had a sister, Anne, who does not feature in the work. She married Dr Haire and their eldest daughter Henrietta-Anne married, in 1850, Thomas Henry Pipon, Seigneur of La Hague, who was at this time in the garrison at Cap Breton Island as a Lieutenant in the 97th Regiment. Their daughter, Madame Philippe Horton Lefebvre, is now the only representative in Jersey of this Dumaresq branch. Madame Haire died at Ile Cap Breton in 1903 at the age of 95.

Gros Puits and Ponterrin

We now turn to the first of the branches which are the main objective of this work. It is divided into two smaller branches, those of Gros Puits and Ponterrin. The founder of this branch was Richard Dumaresq, younger son of Jurat Clement Dumaresq (1580-1627) and his second wife Marguerite Crafford. He was in turn the younger son of Jurat Richard Dumaresq (1538-56), Seigneur of Vinchelez de Bas and Leoville, and Collette Larbalestier.

Having lived in St Helier for several years , Richard Dumaresq, son of Clement, went to live at Menage d’Allain, now Gros Puits, at St Saviour, the inheritance of Marie Lempriere, his wife. One sees in the contract of partage of the estate of Nicolas Lempriere, of 23 April 1612, that the share of Marie Lempriere, wife of Richard Dumaresq, consisted of Maison d’Allain, meadows, cotils, etc, the Maisonnette et Vaux de St Lawrence, etc.

The same Richard Dumaresq had acquired from Jean Le Moigne, probably about 1600, his house and household. George Dumaresq , Richard’s grandson, left this acquisition to Abraham Le Moigne, and it is curious to note that the same property returned later, by marriage, to the Dumaresq family.

The principal heiress of this lineage, Marie Dumaresq, eldest daughter of George, married Jean Dumaresq, Receiver-General and younger brother of Elie Dumaresq, Seigneur of Augres. Their descendants feature in the Armorial. However, their genealogy there is a little incomplete. It stops with Jean Dumaresq, Constable of St Helier andJurat, who died in 1767, as if he was the last of the lign, whereas in reality he had two sons and a daughter. The eldest, Jean Dumaresq, was Contable of St Saviour for a long time and died without issue about 1 January 1805. The second, George, died about 1782, without children. Anne Dumaresq, their sister and heiress, married Robert Carteret Le Geyt, who settled in England.

It is important to say here that although the owners of Gros Puits, the father and grandfather of Madame Le Geyt, lived in the town of St Helier, they had farms atGros Puits. For example, in 1702 Pierre Duhamel was a farmer at ‘Menage d’Allain or Gros Puits’.

The administrator of Robert Carteret Le Geyt and his wife sold this property to Elizabeth Bertram, who sold it to Jean Dolbel, son of Daniel. It passed then to Marie Patriarche, wife of Edouard Dupre, Dean, who was its owner in 1808.

Jeanne Dumaresq, second daughter and co-heiress of George Dumaresq, of Gros Puits, married Jurat Charles Dumaresq, Seigneur of Saval and Lieut-Bailiff in 1712, who we believe was the youngest son of Philippe Dumaresq, of Morin (Solicitor-General) and Susanne de Frotté. Of this marriage were born Guillaume Dumaresq, Seigneur of Saval and Jurat from 1723-46, and the wife of Philippe Le Geyt, the second Lieut-Bailiff of this name.

Second branch

A second branch, also descended from Richard Dumaresq, son of Clement, separated from the main branch with Nicolas Dumaresq, who in 1640 married Sara Falle, eldest daughter and principal heiress of Philippe Falle, Seigneur of Ponterrin.

This line included several Constables of St Saviour, Advocates of the Royal Court, and one Jurat, Nicolas Dumaresq, who was also Lieut-Bailiff in 1731.

In 1713 this Nicolas Dumaresq owned among others, the following areas: Clos de Horman, Jardin de Labey, Pres de Falle, Courtils de Botterel and Les Valcornets, all in St Saviour, on the Royal Fief and Fief de Grainville; Clos de Malherchie, Clos de la Couture, Neuf Clos, Clos de Touzel, Pres et Cotils des Pendants, in Grouville on the Royal Fief and Fiefs de la Hougue and de la Fosse Astelle.

The Dumaresqs of Ponterrin died out in the male line in 1767. The principal heiress, Francoise Dumaresq, married Thomas Le Hardy. Their initials TLH – FDMR and the date 1793 can still be seen on the façade of Salvandy Terrare, St Saviour’s Crescent, where Maison du Roux, which passed in about 1752 from the de Carteret family to the Le Hardys, once stood.

The sister of Francoise Dumaresq married Matthieu La Cloche, Constable of St Helier; her share of the estate included two houses, de Haut and de Bas in the Canton of Rouge Bouillon, on the fief of Meleches, and being part of the estate of Le Moigne, francs tenants. Matthieu La Cloche appeared on behalf of his wife as franc tenant in 1774.

St Helier branch

We now turn to the second of these branches. Founded by Thomas Dumaresq, younger son of La Haule, it was established in the town of St Helier itself.

Edouard Dumaresq, son of Thomas, acquired from Elie Dumaresq in 1618, Maison de Billot, on the Fief du Prieur in St Helier. On 4 July 1688 Edouard Dumaresq, son of Jean, of the same family, sold what appears to be the same property to Jean Noel, son of Nicolas; 5 quarters of wheat rent was due on this house to the poor of St Helier. George Noel, a descendant of Jean, was the owner of this property in 1785.

Edouard Dumaresq, son of Thomas, had also acquired in 1626, from George Kellet and his wife, two adjoining houses and households in the town of St Helier on the Fief du Prieur, between the house where Edward lived and that of Zacharie Duhamel, in the Vieille Rue, for 17 quarters of wheat rent.

This branch included several clergymen, of whom three Rectors and a Minister of the French Savoy Church in London. We quote from an Act of the Court relating to one of them, the Rev Jean Dumaresq, Rector of St Clement then St Helier:

5 January 1692: On the complaint of Jean Dumaresq, Rector of the Parish of St Clement, that he was attacked and wounded and made to bleed, and his wife attacked and ill-treated in their home by Jean Dolbel, their domestic servant, it is ordered that the Constable of the Parish of St John, where he has withdrawn to sease him and present him at Court to reply to the complaint.


The will of Sara Dumaresq, sister of the Rector, of whome wel will speak, is to be found in the archives of the Ecclesiastical Court. Perhaps we may be permitted to give here the principal passages which appear to us to be interesting. It carries the dateof 7 May 1688.

After some preliminary phrases relating to her late parents and her religious convictions, she asked that her body be buried in the cemetery of St Helier, then she made, among others, the following bequests.

”I leave to Philippe Journeaux, my brother, my big black sideboard, and to my sister, his wife, a dozen serviettes and a tablecloth, all of damask, never bleached, and to Marie Journeaux, my sister, a tablecloth and a dozen serviettes which have not been bleached, and to the wife of Jean Dumaresq, my brother, three dozen serviettes and three tablecloths of large damask; to MarieDumaresq, daughter of my brother, my silver tankard, half a dozen silver spoons …. And to the two daughters of Abraham Dumaresq and Marie Journeaux, my sister, all the remainder of my linen, except for a pair of new curtains which I give to Marie Padson; to Marie Syvret, daughter of George Syvret, a gold ring with a stone and to Henriette Dumaresq, my god-daughter, daughter of Richard Dumaresq, my uncle, one of my silver salt cellars, and to each of my godchildren, a gold Louis.
”After all my bequests I give all my other moveable goods, wherever they are, to John Dumaresq, my brother, on condition that I am buried honestly. And for executors of my will I nominate Jean Durell and George Syvret to take the trouble.”

The Rev Elie Dumaresq, son of the Rev Jean Dumaresq, was Rector of St John for a long time. Shortly after his induction he had a dispute with the Constable and procureurs du bien public of the parish about his accommodation. The Rectory was in a dilapidated state, such that it had become virtually inhabitable, and the parochial authorities were not over keen to satisfy the complaints of the new Rector.

The matter came before the Royal Court and about 5 May 1716 the Constable and procureurs were condemned to pay Elie Dumaresq 60 livrestournois for his accommodation for a year. The following year on 7 September 1717 there was a new judgment of the Court on this subject: Abraham de Carteret, Constable of St John and Jean Dolbel, procureurs du bien public, were condemned to pay Elie Dumaresq, Rector, 60 livres tournois a year for his accommdation until he can be accommodated in the presbytery.

St Peter branch

It is convenient to give some details about another branch of the Dumaresqs, no less important, who have been imperfectly treated in the Armorial: we wish to speak of a lineage originating in St Ouen, but established in St Peter and illustrated by Sir Jean Dumaresq, lieut-Bailiff of Jersey, one of its members.

Jean Dumaresq was the son of Jean Dumaresq, Jurat from 1744-61, son of Elie, Constable of St Ouen, son of Philippe. His ancestors are shown in the Armorial, but for reasons which escape us their genealogy stops with the father of Jean, and leaves the others aside. We believe it is thus useful to give some proof, drawn from the Court Rolls, of the line of descent of Jean Dumaresq.

  • 23 October 1821: Mention that Jean Dumaresq was the son of Jean, son of Elie, and elder brother of Philippe Dumaresq, who had an administrator
  • 1814: Jean Dumaresq showed that the windmill which was anciently part of the Seigneurie of St Ouen was obtained by Elie Dumaresq, his grandfather, on 10 September 1722 from Josue Pipon and others, with the approval of Lord Carteret.
  • 1823 Philippe Dumaresq, son of Jean, son of Elie, sold on 7 January 1796 to Stephen Watts, assistant to the Barrack Master General of His Majesty’s troops, a houseor houses with gardens and courtyards. The said Philippe Dumaresq was the brother of Jean Dumaresq who was the son of Jean Dumaresq and Marie Robin.

Marie Robin was the only daughter and heiress of Raulin Robin, son of Lieut-Bailiff Raulin Robin, Seigneur of Herupe, Orville, Prieur at St Peter and Sauvalle in the same parish. It was as principal heiress of his mother that Jean Dumaresq found himself in possession of the property now called St Peter’s House, which was confiscated by George Dumaresq, his grandson.

We recall briefly the principal stages of the political career of Jean Dumaresq. Sworn as Advocate of the Royal Court on 10 July 1773, and Constable of St Peter on 18 June 1776, he was head of the parish for a quarter of a century until 1801. He was also one of the Receivers-General from 1786 to 1801 and Colonel of the North-West Regiment. Eventually he was sworn in as Lieut-Bailiff on 23 January 1802.

In this era the Bailiff, Lord Carteret, lived in England and by consequence his first Lieutenant exercised in reality the power. Jean resigned in 1816. He was Seigneur of Escraqueville, Orville, Le Prieur and Sauvalle.

We add that he was on a number of occasons Deputy of the States in England. He died in March 1819 and was buried in St Peter’s Church.

Esther Dumaresq, sister of Jean, married Jacques Pipon, son of Thomas, son of Thomas, Receiver-General from 1772-1814. Their brother Philippe, Seigneur of the Fiefs of Boutevillon and Lulague, played a sufficiently important role for us to dedicate a few lines to him in this notice.

Battle of Jersey

He was Captain of the Grenadiers of the North-West Regiment in 1783 and we believe that it was he who rallied the Militia on the point of being beaten and retreating when it saw Major Peirson falling mortally wounded. One finds him as Lieut-Colonel of the regiment in 1802.

[The writer admits that it is difficult to be certain about the identity of the Captain Philippe de Carteret because there were four or five contemporaries with the same name.]

In all probability it was this Philippe Dumaresq who, on 17 March 1781, was sworn in as Denonciateur, a function he exercised for several years. In 1785 he was a candidate for Jurat in opposition to Jacques Hammond, Seigneur of Samares, and contested the election before the Privy Council until December 1795, at which date he withdrew.

However, Philippe Dumaresq settled in St John and became Constable of this parish on 4 December 1798. His re-election in December 1801 was not achieved without difficulties; he only had a three-vote majority over Jean Arthur, the other candidate. He complained that there were illegalities in the election; Mr Dumaresq, for his part, claimed that the Rector had opposed his candidature from the pulpit. The arbitrators named to resolve this affair decided in favour of Mr Dumaresq on 22 May 180s and he was sworn in again on 3 July.

On 29 January 1803 it was observed that ‘Philippe Dumaresq, Constable of St John, had disposed of his house and land in the parish and proposed to leave the island’. In any event he was not immediatedly replaced as Constable because on 3 December 1803 the Royal Court ordered that an election for Constable be held in St John ‘on Sunday 11th following, as Philippe Dumaresq, Constable of St John, has been absent from the island for a long time and is now a prisoner of war in France’.

Mr Dumaresq does not appear to have returned to settle in Jersey. He had maried Marthe Le Geyt, daughter of Charles Le Geyt and Marthe de la Faye. She died without children in 1796 and was buried at St John.

Jean Dumaresq

Jean Dumaresq had, by his marriage to Marie Le Mesurier, daughter of the Governor of Alderney, a large family. His eldest son, Jean, started his political career as Constable’s Officer in St Peter on 29 November 1800, becoming Centenier of the parish on 27 April 1801. He was living then in the Vingtaine of Douet. He was sworn in as an Advocate of the Royal Court on 11 August 1801, Solicitor-General in 1810, and Attorney-General in 1817. He was also Colonel of the North-West Regiment.

He died in November 1823 and was buried in St Peter’s Church. He had married in January 1804 Marie, daughter of Jurat Francois Valpy dit Janvrin. She died at Colomberie in 1840. There were several children of this marriage:

  • Jean, born in 1806, died young
  • George, born in 1807, spent part of his youth in Rio de Janeiro, returned to settle in Jersey, and died at Forest Hill, near Beaumont, in 1871. He had married Rachel, deughter of Matthieu Le Geyt, but left no heirs.
  • Rear Admiral Henry, born in 1808, married Anne Susanne Janvrin, daughter of Philippe, and died in 1877
  • Don Philippe, born in 1812, had General Don, Lieut-Governor of Jersey as godfather. He was Lieutenant in the Royal Marines
  • Charles (1814-1848)
  • Richard (1815- ) died young
  • Gordon (1818- ) had General Gordon, Lieut-Governor, as godfather and died without marrying
  • Mary (1804- ) married Lieut-Col Ross
  • Elizabeth (1809- ) married Col Gompertz
  • Harriet (1817- ) married Major Cotton
  • Sophie (1820- ) died in Southampton in 1892, a spinster

The children of Rear-Admiral Henry Dumaresq and Anne Susanne Janvrin were:

  • Henry, died young
  • Arthur, Captain of the 46th Regiment
  • Blanche, of Bagnoles, Havre des Pas
  • Emily, also of Bagnoles

The other sons of Jean Dumaresq were Philippe, Royal Marine Captain, died in 1819; Thomas, of Millbrook, Deputy Assistant Commissary General, died in 1825; and George Frederick, (1786- ) probably died young

Captain Philippe Dumaresq married first Marthe Le Mesurier, by whom he had two sons. Philippe, the elder, was wounded at the Battle of Navarin and died on board ‘’Asia’’ in October 1827; Frederick, the younger, married in 1829k Marguerite Le Geyt, daughter, we believe, of Lieut-Col Mathieu Le Geyt, and died without heirs in 1845.

Captain Philippe Dumaresq married for the second time to Marie Pipon, daughter of Jacques, Receiver-General. She died at Simon Place, St Helier, in 1842.

Thomas Dumaresq, third son of Jean, married Sophie Elizabeth Lovelace, daughter of Colonel Lov elace, and had three sons: Charles Thomas, settled in Jamaica in 1844; Albert and William Lovelace, Colonel in the Royal Artillery, who retired in 1881 with the rank of Major-General. He had married a Miss Childers, widow of Capt Oakes Moore, now living at Bournemouth.

Jean Dumaresq had six daughters: Marie married Lieut-General Jean Le Couteur of Bellevue; Henriette married Francois Valpy dit Janvrin; Marthe became the wife of Charles Pipon; Elizabeth married Philip Pipon, Royal Marine Captain, in 1802; Louisa married Philippe Bouton, Captain and Adjutant of the Militia North-West Regiment, and died at Hemery Place in 1848; Sophie (1783- ) probably died young.

Captured by Turks

It remains for us to summarise another branch, probably descended from the youngest son of La Haule, which was established at St Peter since the end of the 16th century. One of its offspring, Richard Dumaresq, was captured by the Turks at Salle in 1627. His brothers Philippe and Jacques and his sister Marie, later wife of Thomas Gourey, did everything in their power to obtain his liberty in exchange for a ransom.

Jacques, son of Philippe, died without heirs and his succession passed to the children of his sister Marie, wife of Thomas Balleine.

Finally we say that in the 17th and 18th centuries several members of the Dumaresq family, like many Jerseyman at this time, went to settle in America. Among them were Thomas Dumaresq, who in 1685 settled at Salem, New England. In an Act of 1699 we find mention of Marie Le Broc, wife of Thomas Dumaresq of New England, doubtless the same.

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